tv Book Discussion on the Essential American CSPAN November 16, 2013 12:00pm-12:47pm EST
johnson. monday night, live on c-span. >> history bookshelf features popular history writers of the past decade and airs on american history tv. next on history bookshelf. the daughter of former house speaker newt gingrich. she talks about her book, the especially american. 25 documents and speeches about the do you means and speeches she believes every american should be familiar with and can draw inspiration from. the list ranges from the declaration of independence and the u.s. constitution to abraham lincoln's gettysburg address to the bear down the wall speech. this was recorded in the house office building in washington, d.c. >> thank you very much and thank you for everyone here. i appreciate your time and
taking time out on the afternoon and coming. i hope it will be different, maybe. it really is a thrill to be here in the house office building. my first memories were in the 70s. many of you were not alive then, but if you can imagine the 70s i was a young girl and i would run up and down the corridors and back then, you could actually take elevators down and go through the tunnels without security. many times i would get lot of and pop lack up somewhere else in congress or over the capital building. this is where i spend a lot of my time growing up. for me it's a particular thrill to be back and thank you very much for having me here. in terms of where i am, i will 5 you a background about the journey to the book.
why this book and why our family documents and the history of our nation are so very important. they are i think a really very important cross roads as a country. we will have to figure out who are wea a country and that's in the next generation. i think the best way to start for that is to look at the documents. that's the essential american. again, i like to say for the policy group, we have a great story and we told a friend we would be here. for those that might know dana, i have known dana for over a decade and at the american enterprise institute. she got that job because she came to washington to look for a job and came to these and network and met somebody. the next thing she knew she spent a decade of her
lifeworking for newt gingrich. you never know who you might meet. interestingly enough, she is married to a gentlemen and for those of you who are symphony lovers, the first violinist for the washington symphony for a long, long time. he retired a year ago. they met because she gave to the symphony and a meet and greet and met and fell in love and they live happily down in georgia. you never know and my first memory of d.c. was in the 70s. this was way before my dad won. i will take you on a reminder of my background and his career because i think it's important for us to understand where we came from and why it's important to learn lessons. if you can imagine in the 70s, this might have been around 74. we lived in carrollton, georgia.
we lived in carrollton because my father who went to emery and tulane and part of the deal was he got scholarship money because he promised he would come back to georgia and teach. when he finished up the desertation, he found a job offer at one place. carrollton, georgia. he had two young girls. my mother, we all would do carrollton, georgia. we had a big train trip and it was a big trip for us. my mother's mother was going as well. we are getting ready and coming down the hill on our house. this is not very long. my grandmother tripped. broke her leg. she broke her leg and i remember my sister had to get somebody to push her around the washington zoo the entire time. luckily she was 16 and i don't know if she had a problem with that.
the grandmother got on the train and we kept our family vacation intact. the reason i am telling you this story, you can imagine a little girl from carrollton, georgia riding the train and going into the dining car in the morning and sitting down at what appeared to be an elegant table with the table cloth at that time and a flower and looking out of the window and seeing as she crossed the bridge, the washington monument. the feeling that i had knowing that i had just entered carationcaratio carinati carination's capital. on the east side it said last day which is praise be to god. as the sunrises over washington, the first lights of sun strike the words praise be to got. i try to remember that as we come into washington. it is a special city. i think for those that live
here, it's important for us to remember that it is a very special seay city. of the 1974 campaign. this little girl from georgia and my father decides to run for congress. there were no republicans from georgia. not really. there was rodney cook, there was mac madingly and my father. you get them in a little bitty room together, that was it. he decided to run and because he was at west georgia, that meant that he would run i'm sure they told him wasn't a good idea.
they had the granddaughter who, nounsed he was going to run. the history books and the roll outs. you can imagine what it must have been like to run as a republican in georgia. he ran, ran, ran, ran. at the end of the term, you went to the victory party. you don't want to have a defeat party. i can remember dad sitting there with his yellow legal pad and back then we didn't have the great maps that you wand over and pull things out of. you had someone call from a precinct. they said hey, this is precinct whatever whatever. here are the votes for a and b. dad would write them down and i can remember him adding them up. he is good at math.
he would add them up again as if it would change the answer. unfortunately it didn't. he lot of with 48.5% of the vote. the next morning he didn't complain or cry. we got up early and went over to the ford factory and shook hands with the family. thank you for your help. we will be back again next time. next year the same thing happened. he was sure he could beat jack flint. he knew he had a chance until the republican primaries. jimmy carter was not really getting ready. he knew there would be a tough race because they were in georgia again. jimmy carter ran a great race and worked hard and dan said he thought he had a chance to election day and stood in front
of the library which was our polling place. he saw the buses pull up. he realized the buses were not there to vote for newt gingrich. they were there for somebody else. again that night he added up and added up and again and again and again and again he lot of. he lost with 43.3% of the vote. we got up again and went to the ford factory, thank you very much for your help. we will be back again. my mother told a great story. we were talking about the history and the family and what we went through. at this point they lot of twice. they had to decide whether or not to run again and mom said she can remember going to the local place running into a friend and saying you can't let him run again. he can't run again. if he loses, it's going to be embarrassing. like the first two weren't, right?
it's such a great answer. she said who am i to kill this. he wants to run. as we now know, he ran and he won and in time got the republican resurgence on the hill. the reason i tell this story is not to say my dad lot of a lot and i don't want to highlight that, but persistence matters. it's very important that we as a people are optimistic and persistent. in the end that makes a difference. all that they need and for people who remained silent. we have to understand we can't be silent. the complicity and we have to have the ability to stand up and
speak about what we think is important as a nation. today more than ever, conservatives and i think in particular i will talk about this, i think in particular, no offense to the men here and my kids always say no offense. i know you are going to say something bad. women conservatives are important. i think it's our time to step up and be corrected. i will talk about that a little bit. our nation is on a journey. a lot of us are in central america. i think we have a bright future. we are it. the people here in this room and the people in our nation, we are the link between an incredibly wonderful history and a bright
future. it's our job, our future is based on our ability to speak up to articulate a very clear vision for a great future to participate a compelling picture and people who want to be helpful and want to be part of it. we want to remind people of our rights and with rights come responsibilities of americans. our future is predicated on americans understanding and their belief that we all have an equal opportunity to share the american dream. we have to understand that we have to articulate and convey a vision that resonates. my little girl plays violin and when she plays, she is not great, but she's good. when she plays and she plays well, you can feel it. you feel it resonating.
when louise plays, it does resonate. we have to be able to convey and articulate. you have to understand and feel it in their bodies. we have to talk about the founding of our country. we will talk about it anyway. also about where i think we need to go. it clearly states that we have self evident truths and we can loan them to the government. when you think about this as what we are and what we are not. self evident means truthful. i think we need to understand that we need to have society and government based on truth. we say equal, we are created equal. not that the in the end it's equal, but this is a challenge for us. this is going to hurt people's feelings. people like people to be happy. the reality is in the end, you
have to have people that do better than others because they worked harder. you can't have a society where everyone gets the same in the end. that's not a free society that creates empty entrepreneurial people. we are talking about a creator and we are talking about god giving us power. our power comes from god. not that the government decides what power we are going to have. you think about the freedom to act and also we have to remember when it said pursuit of happiness, this is important. you can pursue it. that doesn't mean you haven't. that's very, very different. i have a 9 and 11-year-old. they are great ages. really, really fun and the 11-year-old is a girl and 9-year-old is a boy. we get into these discussions sometimes and they are really, really frustrated because they are not happy. i have to remind them, that's not my job. it's not my job to make them
happy. it's my job to discipline them and love them and to encourage them and to figure out how they can do that as a country. where we are politically. i am speaking in generalities again. if you are not one of the normal women, don't take event. in july women operate differently. i have a sister who is 3 1/2 years older. she is amazing. she is probably the best manager or leader of people that i know. i say that because she really cares about everybody that works with her. generally cares for them. worries about how they feel and what they are doing and how they work. what she is able to do is pulls all their strengths and figures out how to use them. she is an incredible manager.
very talented woman. women often have the skill of figuring out how to knit and create a team versus figuring out how to create a group that always competes against each other. it's a very different dynamic. the other thing that women do is because they are by nature the child that they give birth and also are the mother, i think women are much more forward thinking because we are are thig about the next generation. it's like we can't help ourselves. we worry about our children and worry about their future and worry about how can we make sure things are ready. i think by design the way god created us we worry about what's coming up. we care for children thattics this crazy sometimes that does happen. also develops patience. one of the biggest joys of having children is that i am developing more patience. i'm not there yet. i have a lot more to get.
one of the things i have this weekend, my husband and i laugh over this, we once had someone watch our children and the children were running around doing something. they and they did exactly what they were told to do which was amazing. they said look, you tell them and they do it. you tell them 4,000 times and maybe they do it. one of the things about parenting is you begin to realize you have to be repeating yourself and do it over and over again. if possible without screaming. hopefully you will hear somebody say they have the nicest manners. i like the yes, ma'am, no ma'am and thank you very much. you think after the 4,000th time, something sunk in and it
makes you happy. the other thing is they create miffs. my husband likes to laugh at that. part of the reason we create places of safety or relaxation is that allows a place for people to get together as a family. we laugh at that and we don't need a nice place to sit or whatever. you need that sanctuary. it's interesting how you get during carpooling. you hear about what's happening and what they are doing. it's a home to be safe. i know not all homes are safe, but one of the things i aspire to do is make sure my home is a place that is and the children
feel loved. you build places and communities that are safe. we need to be able to think about how to knit together communities. how can we figure out how to over and over and over repeat the same things without getting frustrated. it may take a long time. how can we make sure we build on strengths and we don't tear down people because their weaknesses. i have a lot of weaknesses. we all do. i think those core fundamental values are important. one of the reasons that i think it's so important is because it reminds us that words matter. i know it sounds shocking to hear that, but i think we forget a lot of times especially when we e-mail and text that words
have great importance. thoughts and ideas create reality and therefore results. you want to be careful not only what we read, but what we think in our ideas. they provide clarity and they tear down the wall. he didn't say it might fall down on its own. tear down won't. very, very clear in terms of what should happen. as we think about our future, it's important to understand our past. there nation stories. we have family stories. when i told you about my dad losing twice, it's a family story. i tell that to my children and they fail to remind you to get up and be nice and fwrashs and work hard again.
they can't give up. a few family stories. they were raised on a farm. in a rural area it makes them like a metropolis. everyone around was related to her. they were 11 of 13 and not sure. we don't have good records. she was born in 1911 or 1913. they didn't own the land. everybody had to really participate. everybody was involved. so when she told her dad she wanted to go to columbus, georgia and get her rn degree, he wasn't happy. he needed those hands. he needed her to help him out. her mother gave her her egg money, her nest egg and her
father the senator said you won't hear from me again and she went off and get her rn degree. for a woman from a family who never had a high school diploma was a huge, huge event. i this story because i want my children to understand we value education and education is important as is doing what is right for you. you will be glad to know when her father became sick later in life, she of course was there. she took care of him for which he was grateful. it's important. education is important. my mother who is the oldest of four children was told when she went to college, you have two choices. you may get out in three years and yourtivitier will go after you or wait another year. we will give it a try. she went to auburn and graduated with a degree in math which was
unusual for a girl of her age and she got out in three years and became a high school math teacher. you have to value education. my sister had the same story about raising money for cancer. my sister has arthritis. if you never seen anything with this these, it is incredibly debilitatin debilitating. she had days when she could not get out of bed. my sister having conquered that for right now decided she wanted to raise money for arthritis. she decided she wanted to walk a marathon. for those who are not aware, it's 26.2 miles.
she wanted to raise money for rheumatoid arthritis. you are my sister and i will do anything you want. all i could think about is i am going to have to carry her. she is not going to make it. she is 5'5" and very petite and i could have carried her, but kathy made it through fine. walled all 26.2 miles. it took her 7 hours and 47 minutes and we raised $40,000. we have done it two other times and raised $146,000. if you think about the revolutionary war, women were in the in front. they were not in front of the group and left behind with the children. if you look at the letters and
you see a woman that clearly was very, very bright and highly educate and asked really great questions. when you read her letters and see her questions, she is giving him the next thing to do. just make sure. one of the things that she said is reminds him that every member feels for us. kind of like we do when you get calls and say remember the people down in georgia? remember the people in texas or california? she reminded him of the people at home. she also reminded them if a form of government is to be established, what will be assumed? what's going to happen? how will you form this government? clearly their relationship not only provided him with stability as a family, but also challenged him to think about the former government.
i am very fond of her. she is interesting because very, very bright woman who was a democrat originally. part of the party and that organization was very concerned in the 70s because of the way foreign policy was unfolding. got very, very concerned. caught ronald reagan's attention and became his national security adviser. really take that speech today and put in new places and names and that speech is just as relevant as it was then. i think and i will talk more about this, i think this whole idea of judgment we have to think about as a country. where we don't want to not have right or wrong, i think clearly we must have truth. we must understand that we say two plus two equals four, it
really does. there has to be a standard of truth. if the next is over and the victims are there, you have the same cycle and it reverses. the way to fix that, the way to think about possibly fixing that is to have truth. not necessarily without judgment, but with an open mind. we are going to lead you to a more interesting, more creative decision that would be inclusive and allow everyone to participate. it's a lot to think about so i will back up and give you some abraham lincoln to think about. my favorite selection out of the essential america is lincoln's second inaugural. we had a bit of a discussion because i couldn't figure out what to cut. i have lincoln's first inaugural
and the gettysburg address and emancipation proclamation. i couldn't figure out if you are trying to cover american history, what do you leave out some i couldn't figure it out. i left them all in. when you look at the transition, his wording and how he changes as a person from his first inaugural that was clearly a very legalistic tas of where we shouldn't go to war and wouldn't have to. if you read that, it says the states seceeded and we know it's going to end up at war. i wish we wouldn't go to war and here is the legal out of what is going to happen. you move to the gettysburg address where in less than two minutes, in 287 words, never using the word i or me and never talks about himself, he moves from the founding of our nation to the future.
he wraps us in the great promise for tomorrow. whatever it was, he spoke for two hours. don't worry. i'm not speaking for two hours. the photographer couldn't take a picture and today it's one of the ones that we remember. the second innaug ral to me is heart wrenching to me. the capital of the dome was half finished. there was the scaffolding and at that time they continued with the construction as a sign the union would endure and we would not hold. we would be here. at the second inaugural, it was all but insured the north would
win and the dome was finished. he comes out on a cloudy day like today and the story goes that he comes out and as lincoln approached, the clouds actually broke and the sunshine came out. that must have been incredibly moving if you were there. he talks about a couple of things on the second inaugural address. where we need to move for the next generation of conservatism. he talks about let us judge not that we be not judged. you can tell in this address that he has become a man who truly understands that he is an instrument in the hand of god. you can see it in his stevens and writings and how faithful he has become in a leader and a president. he talks about let us judge not that we not be judged. he closes with the great line with malice towards none and charity for all and firmness in
the right as god gives us to see the right. let us drive to finish the work we are in. you may think what does this have to do with me? you are a college student and intern and working with office and in business here. what does that have to do with me? often i thought of the same thing myself. i am a writer and a mother and you wonder what it has to do with us. it has a lot to do with us. we have the truth and we don't want to lean on judgment. we know that doesn't get us to where we need to go. we also have to understand that if we want to dream big and think about where we want our nation to be when my children are older which i have my two little ones, we have to think about a nation that can be
focussed on truth to creative solutions. part of saying what is truthful without judgment is the truth is still the truth. it doesn't make the truth go away. it makes us focus on the truth and create a really creative solution versus looking at the past and figuring out how to fix the past. you can try all you want, but you can't fix the past. it doesn't change. there is nothing there for us. it's gone. if you think about how to be creative and solve problems for the future, that's what we are about. we need to figure out how to make it so attractive that we absorb the majority with us and we are all working together. it's about absorption instead. if we are going to do this, how do we do this and work hard enough to make that happen? one of the things is our nation's stories to talk about abraham lincoln or talk about
ronald reagan when he gave the speech to talk about jfk and his statement of ask not what your country can do for you which is what everyone is doing. what you can do for your country and ask are we doing what we should. the hardest is to be a good example. that's the hardest thing and i fail every day usually by lunch. sometimes i get a little later. with two children, you understand what that means. they see everything you do. they see how you ask them to do things and how you react to people around you or to them. i think we all need to understand that every one of us has an incredible network and you can be a good example. i'm using my dad's things. you learn every day and i try to learn most days. usually i learn from failing. getting better at learning from
failing. one of the things we have to learn as a conservative movement is what resonates. you talk about who to move big enough to resonate with the majority of the america, what does resonate like a violinist can hear the notes they play. we were at lunch with louise last fall, the violinist i was talking about earlier. he was telling a story about the greatest violinist in the world. he said who is the greatest violinist in the world? the response was the violinist who corrects the notes the fastest. and what they did is went become and listened to the tape of this maestro and if you slowed the tape down, you can hear his flaws, when the notes were off. his hearing was so good that he could correct it before the human ear could hear it.
he was literally correcting as he played. we have to have that ability as a community in the movement to figure out if we are going the wrong way. if it's not resonating and we are not going positive energy and optimism. it has to all like a violin and in the end it has to be fabulous and fantastic and pleasing to the ear. we had to figure out how to do that. because thiss going to be a long process and i'm thinking in the end we are never really over. life takes a long time. if you are lucky. we have to remember to enjoy life. i'm the worst at this. i'm the girl that gets on a saturday with my to do list. i have mine and my husband's. he is not happy about that. he's the guy that gets up and sits on the couch. he has to rest first. i know we are together for a reason. god wants me to learn to be patient. i'm not there yet.
god wants him to do things on occasion. i'm teasing. i am very, very phoning used and i get too involved in the activity and i try to do too much and jimmy is there to say you know what, honey. that's not what is about. it's about being with your family and having fun. one of my favorite stories is the egg story. we cook our children greats, toast, and eggs every morning. i am from atlanta. this morning i cook the grits and eggs this morning. many mornings jimmy does. we had a battle about who had the best eggs. the pressure on the children to declare monmommy or daddy the best egg maker. he won for quite a while. kind of embarrassing for me, but i was getting over it. i asked him, jimmy, you are forced to me to do this or that. he was like, honey, you gotta love the eggs. you have to pay attention to know what you are doing.
that's the code for no matter what it is, you gotta love eggs. you gotta love the committee meetings and the press releases and you gotta love the calls you are dealing with. it doesn't matter what it is. you gotta love your eggs. jimmy does love his eggs. not anymore. he got the doctor's report and he and i are off the eggs for a while. the last thing we need to remind ourselves of is we have to be true to who we are as a conservative movement. always as women. i listen to my mother talk about how she was the first math major and i don't understand. i grew up in know age where i have an under graduate in finance and a cfa. i did whatever i wanted. as women we now have choices. we can do that or we can do this or we can do -- every woman is different and going to change a
couple of times during her life. i have been in corporate finance and i ran a group of $4 billion under me and had two children. now i'm a writer. the good news is nowadays you can reinvent yourself as you change and grow and decide you have a different priority. i think in the end, you have to be authentic that means i'm the same standing today as part of you as we are today cooking eggs for my children. you have to be clear about what you are and will and won't do. you have to understand that it's important that no matter what you do, you do have to in the end love all the eggs you are involved with. ladies and men, we have a big job in front of us collectively. together i know that we are up for the task. our task is to be truthful without judgment. to be creative in solutions. to allow all americans to join
the movement. to understand that everyone that everyone can pursue the american dream. i like to thank all of y'all for your time and commitment and passion and for serving what i think is the integral part between our incredible right history and our incredible future. we are the link of our great american story. thank you so much. praise be to god as it says on the east side of the washington, d.c. monument. god bless you and god bless america. i think they said we take any questions. glad to. you may ask about how the eggs are cooked. >> what is your favorite speech in the book?
>> lincoln's second inaugural address. it moves me to tears because you can tell how hard the war was for him. you can tell how much he felt when he talks about we believe in the same god and read the same bible and the same god. this is where we are as a nation. hopefully it will be over soon. you can almost feel his heart breaking in two. in the end, he again is very merciful without judgment. he wants us to work together in reaching to a bright future. >> thank you so much. in your interaction with the liberal people, what is common ground that you are able to connect with in this book some. >> that's a great question. the question is what is the common ground talking to liberals. we have a couple of -- it is the american book and not a book
with the incredible speech. we need to look at people who reach out to others and include them in the movement as role mottles. again, the idea was all of those ask us to be more and do more. none of those, that wasn't their idea. to really how to figure out to move forward. we have a lot of opportunity over two fronts. they save it for people to use. they got a bad rap in terms of being environmentally aware.
i love the environment and god created the environment. we should take care of it from that standpoint, but we had to do it in a way that makes sense. if we have rules and regulations, we can't control what the rest of the world does. we have to build in solutions that work and not just for us. it makes sense fiscally and others will adopt it as well. we have to be proactive in terms of. >> what's the best way to take in the speeches. i know when i'm reading a book and my eyes glaze over the word, i don't absorb it completely. did you listen to a lot of them on tape or did you read them aloud to yourself. what process did you have to really absorb them? >> that's a great question. a couple of things, i do have an introduction for each one.
and for those that are, we did spend friday night listening to the speech, his gold water speech. the ones on video is the best way to see it. clearly not all of them are. you don't have even though we looked at the book itself, that's the first entry. it's interesting that not only is there no written transcript, but literally what there is. that's all the record there is. that's where we get the speech give me liberty or give me death. i know that a couple much them, especially the documents in the northwest ordinance is long and not that exciting. we look at the parts that are interesting to you. we read the introductions that are always about 700 to 1,000 words.
it's easy to get through. to figure out what other parts might fill you. the good news is this book is. you can pick it up and read or two or read the rest later. it's easy to use. >> how did you go about picking up the speeches you did. >> that's a great question. we have 25. the original goal was 21. i failed. we have 25. it was really hard. clearly you have to have the declaration of independence and the constitution. smu know you have to have. that was the first 15 and you had to figure out based on that what worked. we wanted to make sure we covered the history. we started with patrick henry and george w. bush. we have a good coverage in terms of what happened. the other thing is we wanted to have things not only that were clearly there, but things that
are a little less well-known. the alamo speeches in there are not as well-known. we try to do a little bit of everything to make it interesting. [ applause ] >> i never saw anything like it when i landed. there was broken equipment. there was bodies all over the place. they hadn't yet to bury anybody, even the japanese or the american marines. they were bodies without arms and heads and completely vis rated. there is a smell that you never get over to this day. when i drive by a cemetery and especially if they are using
recycled water, i think i can smell the dead bodies. >> one of the reasons they took iwojima is they came in and fly 1,000 miles, bumper-to-bumper they had to go over iwojima to get to tokyo. iwojima would forewarn them by radar and they had two planes that could shoot down the injured between them when we were returning. they got so bad that a friend of mine who was there, he told me that they had submarines every 50 miles between tokyo to pick up the flyers. >> the battle for iwojima told by the men who were there told by 5:00 eastern on c-span 3. all weekend long, american history tv is featuring ann